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Two teachers suspended for berating first-grade girl

By ZOU SHUO | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-01-04 09:32
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Education authorities in Beijing have suspended two primary school teachers after a video showing them scolding a first-grade girl drew widespread criticism on social media.

The teachers are also under further investigation.

In the video, which the two teachers were making for a New Year celebration, the girl-who was sitting in the first row-and several other students covered their ears when a boy was giving a loud recital performance.

The two teachers singled the girl out and scolded her for being disrespectful to the boy.

"Today is a joyful day, but if you see the video, it is full of footage of you being an eyesore," one teacher said. "He was giving a performance and you were covering your ears. Do you think that is respectful?" one teacher said. The whole class responded "no" after the teacher asked for their collective response.

Then the teacher pointed at the girl and told her that she was "repugnant" before another teacher told her to "leave her desk and go away".

The teachers asked the girl to go to the back of the classroom, but she did not move. One teacher said: "We are so fed up with you. Do you want the whole class to dislike you?"

Beijing Chaoyang No 2 Experimental Primary School confirmed on Friday that the video was authentic and issued an apology to the student and her parents.

The school said in a statement that Chaoyang education authorities had dispatched a working team to the school. The team, led by the school principal, immediately began investigating the incident.

The two teachers, surnamed Liu and Liang, have been suspended. They have been replaced by the school's teaching director and moral education director.

The school said it is taking the case seriously. Once the investigation is complete, it will continue to prioritize strengthening teaching ethics to prevent such an incident from happening again.

The school has also arranged for psychology teachers to offer guidance and consolation to the girl and other pupils in the class.

In its first official guideline on teachers' rights to discipline students, the Ministry of Education said primary and secondary school teachers have the authority to mete out punishment to students.

However, the guideline, which came into effect on March 1, clearly stipulated that teachers should not verbally abuse students or ask students to punish their peers.

The ministry has stressed repeatedly that teachers should not use corporal punishment or verbally abuse students. It has emphasized that teaching ethics is the most important part of all teachers' evaluations.

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